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ZipIt pencil cases to be sold at Walgreens

BY Allison Cerra

TEL AVIV, Israel ZipIt Ltd. announced that leading U.S. retailers Walgreens and Office Depot will include its fashionable, functional pencil cases among its Back-to-School 2009 offerings. During the next two months, the cases will be available at promotional prices in approximately 5,000 stores to cost-conscious Back-to-School shoppers.

Displayed in fluorescent trays, the rolls of long, colorful zippers will be zipped-up by school children of all ages to become novelty pencil cases – the first in ZipIt’s S-Cool line of products.

Commercially launched in 2005, ZipIt Bags have been recognized at exhibitions as ‘Product of the Year’ in Boston and ‘Most Innovative Product’ in Cannes (France) and draw crowds of people, eager to zip them, wherever they are shown.

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Report: Card-check provision removed from Employee Free Choice Act

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The New York Times on Friday reported that the “card-check provision” — which would have required employers to recognize a union as soon as a majority of workers signed cards saying they wanted a union as opposed to a secret-ballot election — has been removed from the Employee Free Choice Act in an effort to secure enough Democratic votes to avoid a filibuster.

It was a polarizing issue — the card-check provision was advocated by union organizations because it would have made it easier to unionize a workforce. In its place, several Senate and labor officials told the New York Times, the revised bill would require shorter unionization campaigns and faster elections — with elections to be held within two work-weeks after 30% of a workforce signed cards favoring unionization.

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Gilead enters partnership with Tibotec to develop HIV drug

BY Allison Cerra

FOSTER CITY, Calif. Gilead Sciences said it entered a partnership with Tibotec Pharmaceuticals to develop a single daily antiretroviral HIV pill.

The proposed drug would combine Gilead’s Truvada with a drug Tibotec is developing called TMC278, or rilpivirine. Terms were not disclosed, but Gilead said it would take the lead in manufacturing and testing the combined drug, working to get it approved by regulators, and selling it.

Gilead said the product would be the second complete antiretroviral treatment for HIV available in one pill. The first is Gilead’s Atripla, which combines three HIV drugs. The company said the combined pills make treatment simpler for patients.

Tibotec, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, would be responsible for developing rilpivirine as a standalone drug.

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